Veggie Voyagers

Couple travelled 30 states and 3 Canadian provinces between 7/07 and 5/08 running their 1987 Ford truck on straight veggie oil. The blog continues with a focus on the natural world and energy politics from a personal perspective

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Coming into Revelstoke

We are processing on the west side of the Columbia River, too high above it to get more than glimpses through the dense trees. We have a nice flat spot, fluffy clouds, some road noise from the highway not so far above us, also cloaked by trees. It was conducive this morning to shower, do yoga with my Nancy Wiegman CD, meditate, finish the book, Floating in My Mother’s Palm (Ursula Hegi), make chocolate chip cookies in the frying pan and listen to CBC radio. (..Quote from a song called, “I Quit My Job”: “Take your life’s candle and relight it.”)
Michael is having a smooth time of it today and is finishing off 20 gallons of primo veggie motoring oil. He’s finishing My Lead Dog was a Lesbian (Bryan O’Donohue) about the Iditarod and has been quite quiet out there. There’s just the drone of the centrifuge. Sasha has been sleeping under the truck, dreaming away. This place must have been logged and used as a quarry for its fine, silty white soil, probably from some ancient glacier. This side of the lake is different from the granitic and dryer west side of the lake. It’s more mosquitoey and dense with fast growing alder.
Yesterday we came across from the east side of the lake/river on the free inland ferry. There were finally some educational materials on the water system. I never quite trust my negativity but I’ve noted much fewer birds and critters than I would have expected along these lakes. (Michael noted no bugs on the windshield, no road kill.) Apparently there were 3 large dams built along this waterway. Fish stocks plummeted by more 95% as a result, mainly due to nutrient loss as nitrogen and phosphorous were held back by the dams. Now the ferries themselves dump and scatter nutrients as they make their way back and forth across Arrow Lake/Columbia River.
One of the big summer stories up here, way to the west of us, is the collapse of the sock-eye salmon in the Fraser River. A good return was expected but less than a third of the fish returned so that the fisheries are shut down and many First Nation and traditional fisher-people are going without. Speculations are between warmer ocean temperatures and too much competition with stocked species.
Yesterday we were going to camp on Trout Lake, between the lake and the great Trout Mountain and glacier but a strong wind came up, blowing thick smoke up lake to us. Eventually we decided to make the crossing over to this side, heading up to Revelstoke, where our path will be eventually up to the high, touristy, famous country of Lake Louise and Banff.
That fire wasn’t even on the radio although two other large fires are being reported today. The fires are part of a 10 year cycle of milder winters and hotter summers. Normally larval beetles would have been mostly killed by the cold winters but now they are devastating the mature pines…I have to get a picture of that for you. In the second year of infestation the pines turn red and then by the third they are dead and grey.
Passing through the Slocan fire a couple of days ago there was a funny sign that said, “Call Memphis!” (Usually the firefighters leave messages down by the road of coordinates or other Call numbers.)
I’m glad to hear the in depth discussions on Canadian radio. One little filler show I like has “Environmental Confessions” and people call in and confess to something they are doing, like having a hot tub, throwing out peanut butter jars, loving to drive… then some little kid comes on and gives a penance which is something unrelated people can do for the environment then he/she says, AND STOP MESSING UP MY FUTURE at the end. It’s light but keeps the focus on for all radio listeners daily.Michael is tidying up and I need to go help, or offer to.
Peace whatever road we travel...


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